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updated: 10/10/2013 4:26 PM

Only 20 tornadoes recorded in Illinois so far this year

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois has experienced only a third of the number of tornadoes typically recorded over the course of a year, weather officials said.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported there have been 20 reports of tornadoes in the state through Oct. 7.

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State climatologist Jim Angel said the figure is usually three times as high, although the numbers can vary widely. In 2005 there were only 19 tornadoes while there were 124 in 2006.

All but seven of the tornadoes were recorded in northern Illinois: Two touched down in central Illinois while two others were recorded in southern Illinois and three more in Metro East.

Angel attributes the low number to the wet spring and dry summer and fall.

"Weather in the Midwest this year has been two extremes," Angel said. "It was very wet in the spring with slow-moving storms that dropped a lot of rain but had very little severe weather. Since then, it has been very quiet with no severe weather because of the drought."

In 2012, 39 tornadoes pelted Illinois, killing at least eight people.

Angel says the rest of the country is reporting a similar decline in tornadoes.

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